Blue Jays vs. Indians, 10/15/16 - Prediction

Game Snapshot

#905 Toronto Blue Jays
vs.
#906 Cleveland Indians

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Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Toronto Blue Jays (0-1) vs. Cleveland Indians (1-0)

MLB ALCS Game Two: Saturday, October 15, 2016 at 4:00pm EST

Line: Toronto -133/Cleveland +133

Total: 8.5

The Cleveland Indians will host the Toronto Blue Jays in game two of the ALCS Saturday afternoon from Progressive Cleveland. The Blue Jays will give the nod to 33-year old left hander J.A. Happ, and the Indians will turn to 31-year old right hander Josh Tomlin. The Indians edged the Blue Jays in game one by a 2-0 score behind a gem from Corey Kluber and the Indians bullpen. Francisco Lindor hit a two run shot in the sixth inning off Marco Estrada to account for the game’s only scoring.

Happ Hopes to Shut Down Indians Again

J.A. Happ will make his 10th Postseason appearance and second start of the 2016 Postseason, aiming for another win. Happ was solid in game two against the Rangers, he did concede nine hits but he got big outs and only allowed one run in five innings of work. He made one start against the Indians this season and was outstanding, tossing seven innings of one run ball and got the win. The veteran left hander has been very effective against the Indians over his career, going 3-1 with a terrific 2.86 ERA in 28.1 innings pitched. Mike Napoli is 6 for 19 with zero RBI’s, against Happ, while Jason Kipnis is 3 for 9, and Carlos Santana is 4 for 10.

The trio of Donaldson, Encarnacion and Bautista went a combined 4 for 11 in the game one loss, but could not deliver with the big hit. The Blue Jays who were so effective with runners in scoring position in the ALDS struggled in this one, going 0-5 with runners in scoring position, and left eight men on base. Edwin Encarnacion went 2 for 4 with a double in the game one loss, and is now hitting .474 with three homers and seven RBI’s through five Postseason games.

Indians Bullpen Key to Postseason Success

Josh Tomlin will make his second career Postseason start after beating the Red Sox in game three of the ALDS. Tomlin fought hard and made some big pitches in game one, allowing only two runs on four hits over five innings in the winning effort. The veteran right hander faced the Blue Jays twice this season and had mixed results, tossing six innings of one run ball in the first start, followed by a rough start at home where he conceded six runs in 4.1 innings and took the loss. Overall Tomlin has had a tough time against Toronto over his career, going 1-1 with a 5.53 ERA in 27.2 inning pitched. Edwin Encarnacion is 3 for 10 with a homer against Tomlin, while Josh Donaldson is 2 for 5, and Jose Bautista is 1 for 6 with a home run.

The Indians dominant bullpen has been outstanding in the Postseason, and will play a huge factor in this series. Andrew Miller will be used heavily in this series and he has been un-hittable in this year’s Postseason. The 6-foot-7 left hander has tossed 5.2 shutout innings of relief, allowing just three hits and has notched a whopping 12 strikeouts in the Postseason. Indians closer Cody Allen has notched the save in all three of his outings, and the Blue Jays will have a tough time staging late-game comebacks against this bullpen, and it will be crucial for them to get to the Indians’ starters in this series.

Trends:

The Toronto Blue Jays are:

  • 10-1 in Happ’s last 11 road starts.
  • 22-6 in Happ’s last 28 starts.

The Cleveland Indians are:

  • 1-6 in Tomlin’s last 7 starts with four days of rest.
  • 1-4 in Tomlin’s last 5 starts against the AL East.

I like the Blue Jays to take game two. I can’t trust Tomlin against a team he has had some trouble against throughout his career and this season, posting a weak 5.53 ERA in 27.2 innings career innings pitched. Happ on the other hand has been outstanding against the Indians, posting a solid 2.86 career ERA in 28.1 innings of work. The Indians lineup is only hitting a combined .232 with zero homers and six RBI’s in 112 at bats against Happ, so he should be effective again in this matchup. I can’t see the Blue Jays bats silenced again in this one and they should get the win and send the series back to Toronto tied one game apiece.

Pick: Toronto Blue Jays -133

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Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about about various sports as well as personal finance. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.